Operational Update #5 from the Department of Internal Affairs

12 May 2020

Preparing to operate at Alert Level 2

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement about New Zealand starting to move to Alert Level 2 from 14 May 2020, Class 4 gambling operators will need to prepare to operate under the Alert Level 2 guidelines.

DIA has updated its website with information on operating at Alert Level 2.

Operating at Alert Level 2

Health and safety

The Department expects operators and venues to make sensible and reasonable decisions about public health and health and safety under Alert Level 2.

These decisions must be informed by the advice and guidance provided by agencies involved in public health:

Compliance

Venues and operators must continue to meet their obligations under the Gambling Act except in cases where the Department has indicated it will exercise discretion.

The primary activity of the venue must be available and functioning at all times while gambling is underway.

The COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and 4 lockdown period will not be counted as a period of gaming inactivity for licensing purposes.

Venues and clubs will have two weeks after the date they enter Level 2 before DIA begins to apply the 28-day period of inactivity.

Minimising harm

Venues should increase their vigilance in the gaming room during Alert Level 2 restrictions.

With fewer gamblers permitted in the gambling room at any one time, staff will have a greater level of oversight and awareness of each gambler.

It’s a good time to remind your staff of the signs of problem gambling.

Grants and community funding

Due to the national lockdown in response to COVID-19, corporate societies may experience difficulties in distributing all or nearly all of the net proceeds from Class 4 gambling within the defined time period.

The Department will exercise discretion in relation to the enforcement of regulations 10 and 11 of the Gambling (Class 4 Net Proceeds) Regulations 2004, and will seek to ensure that its decision is the result of a process that is fair to both the corporate society and the community, and that its response is proportionate, weighing both the costs and benefits of the relief measures.

Updates

We will continue to monitor the situation and update our DIA gambling website regularly.

If you have specific questions, please email us at gambling@dia.govt.nz

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